Homeowners who love their lawns often dread the arrival of summer.
High temperatures and endless hours of sun can take their toll on lawns, especially if a drought occurs and water restrictions are put in place.
For homeowners who don’t want to sacrifice their lawns to summer heat waves, there are a few watering strategies that can help the lawn withstand the harsh and unrelenting dog days of summer.
Water When Temperatures Are Lower. It might seem like your lawns need watering most when the temperature is at its highest, but that’s not really the case. Water attracts the sun, so homeowners who water their lawns when temperatures peak are likely to burn the lawn. Watering is best done when the temperatures are at their coolest, such as in early morning or during the twilight hours in the evening. Watering during these hours also ensures the water won’t evaporate as quickly, allowing the lawn to retain more water, which it will need to make it through a hot summer day.
Size Matters. A typical landscape has a lawn and likely a handful of trees and shrubs. Homeowners should know that each of these different plants needs different amounts of water. Deep-rooted plants, which includes trees and shrubs, don’t need to be watered as frequently, but homeowners should spend more time watering them when the time comes. Shallow-rooted plants, however, will need to be watered more frequently but for much shorter intervals. Homeowners who aren’t sure just how much time to spend watering the plants around their property should consult a local landscaper or gardening center for advice.
Mulch is Important. Mulch is beneficial in many ways, one of which is due to its ability to retain moisture. Because mulch can effectively retain moisture even on hot summer days, this can reduce a homeowner’s need to water, which can be especially valuable if a water restriction has been put into effect. Mulch also prevents weed germination and growth, saving homeowners from the annoying task of removing weeds on hot summer afternoons.
Placement and Time for Sprinklers is Key. Sprinkler placement is important during the summer months, especially for homeowners who live in areas where water restrictions are common. Strategically locate sprinklers so no water is being wasted on sidewalks and driveways. In addition, if the forecast calls for rain, turn the sprinklers off and let nature do the work for you. Some sprinkler systems even come with a rain sensor that automatically turns the water off when it starts to rain. If less rain falls that the forecasters predicted, you can always water when you arrive home at night.
Pay Special Attention to Suffering Areas. During the dog days of summer, almost all lawns will have one or two areas that are suffering more than the rest of the lawn. These areas might be entirely devoid of shade and, as a result, are quicker to succumb to summer heat. Water such areas by hand to ensure they’re getting enough water to help them avoid turning brown or yellow.